Although horses and ponies are members of the same species, both animals tend to vary in their temperaments. So, do horses and ponies get along?
Ponies and horses get along fine together. In fact, both can live happily together. Apparently, horses are herd animals that prefer company even though they can survive on their own. So, they are not hostile with ponies.
For a better understanding, let’s explore in detail how well a horse and pony can live together. This is bound to help you if you have any plans to get your equine a companion anytime soon.
Can Horses and Ponies Live Together?
Horses are more similar than they are different from each other. In fact, the only prominent difference between the two is their size. While a pony is usually below 14.2 hands tall, a horse flaunts a larger height. Often, people mistake a miniature horse to be a pony, however, the difference between a pony and a miniature horse lies in their tails, manes and coats. A pony, which is the stockier among the two, has thicker hair.
In general, ponies are naughty but intelligent animals. This makes it much harder for owners to introduce them as buddies for the more docile equine – a horse. However, it is not too difficult to discipline a pony, and is suggested to do so before you bring both equines to live together.
To sum up, ponies and horses, no matter what breed they are, can certainly live together. Moreover, these animals are known to bond well together due to their similar characteristics and even share the same food. If you own a horse, be assured that it will love a pony as its new companion, and so will your kids!
Nevertheless, if you are wondering do horses need a companion, the answer is: not really. Horses do enjoy the company of a pasture buddy, but they can live on their own as well.
Can Horses and Ponies Breed?
Although it might seem difficult to breed horses and ponies due to the difference in their sizes, it is certainly possible. In fact, various species of the equine family have been crossbred over the years and resulted in viable hybrids such as the mule. Horses and ponies not only get along well, but they also have similarities in their genetic structure that enables them to mate. The animals, when left together in groups, tend to form smaller herds led by a dominant male.
Despite the possibility of crossbreeding ponies and horses, one should consult a vet before doing it. A vet will help you overview the factors that need to be considered before proceeding with the task. These include the temperament of the equines, their physical structure, and the overall size. A vet will also point out any ailments or problems (if any) beforehand. Moreover, it is advisable not to mate a small pony mare with a large stallion as this is likely to lead to fatal consequences during delivery.
When horses and ponies crossbreed, the result is a typically a hardy foal that has exceptional temperaments it inherits from both parents.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the pony vs horse debate, you will find that people often mistake the two
to be the same due to their appearance. However, there are certain traits that set them apart. To further clarify any doubts you may have regarding this, keep scrolling!
Is a pony a different species than a horse?
Ponies descend from the same family tree as horses. They belong to the same species, yet are different in terms of their size and growth. Ponies that reach adult size remain small, not ranging higher than 14.2 hands, their entire life. They also mature quicker than horses. On the contrary, horses grow to a greater height as they age. .
What animals do horses get along with?
Horses are very friendly animals that are habitual of thriving socially in herds. They tend to get along not only with other equines like ponies, zebras, and donkeys, but also with pasture mates such as cows, goats, and sheep. You will also find horses to be equally friendly with cats and dogs.
Do horses get along with other horses?
Horses generally get along pretty well with other horses, provided that there is ample space to move around as well as access to basic resources like food, water and shelter. Furthermore, horses that spend most of their time in close proximity are likely to bond deeply and may become agitated if separated. On the other hand, you also need to keep a close eye on them to ensure ample tolerance between the companions.
Do ponies need a companion?
Like horses, ponies are also herd animals. They too find comfort and safety when living with their own kind. Although ponies can survive on their own, they are prone to getting lonely soon enough due to their friendly and energetic nature. Hence, ponies are better off with companions.
Can horses be happy alone?
Ideally, you should encourage a horse to interact with other horses in order to prevent it from getting lonely. Being a herd animal requires them to socially engage with its companions to stay active and happy throughout the day. In other words, a horse can undoubtedly live alone, but it is happier when there are buddies to get along with.
On a conclusive note, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that horse and ponies can serve as the best companions for each other. For a horse owner, adding a pony to the stable can actually be beneficial in terms of friendliness and crossbreeding. However, you need to make sure to provide both animals with enough food and water as well as proper shelter.
Otherwise, there are possibilities that they might start competing for resources or even show aggression towards each other.
Keeping horses and ponies together definitely invites more fun, but adds to the responsibility of a horse owner too.